An Arizona woman, Tucsonan Mother, Special Needs Advocate, and founder of Truly Spooktacular Hospital Program will be running in the Boston Marathon on April 17.
Michelle Nolen runs while pushing her special needs son in a wheelchair weighing about 150 pounds.
Nolen began running to lose mommy weight after she had her son.
As her son got older it was a bit of a struggle to continue running and that’s when she was introduced to Dick Hoyt and the Hoyt Foundation in November 2017.
Team Hoyt supports athletes of all abilities and ages with speciality equipment.
I quickly learned how much of an advocate Dick was for including all people of different abilities, said Nolen. I never thought I could ever be strong enough or athletic enough to do what people on Team Hoyt do, but after meeting more families like mine, it put the idea in my head of running Boston with Luke an ultimate goal. I quickly joined their team and have made lifelong friends because of this group. I cannot overstate the inspiration I have from knowing how many races Dick pushed his son Rick in his wheelchair throughout his life.
Nolen recently managed to raise over $10,000 for The Hoyt Foundation, which will help Americas disabled young people through inclusion.
The Hoyt Foundation aspires to build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of Americas disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life; including in family and community activities, especially sports, at home, in schools, and in the workplace.
With their teamwork, Nolen and her son do local 5K and half marathons together.
Nolen has been preparing for her biggest race, the Boston Marathon.
She will be doing the marathon solo this year and she’ll be running for the HOYT foundation.
“I’m excited and nervous. I kind of can’t wait for it to be over a little bit, but you know once I know I’ve done it I know I can do it and that really, that mentality is doing hard things and knowing you can do it helps fuel our motto which is ‘yes you can’ and just knowing okay I’ve done this myself now I can do it with my son and look forward to that and start training for pushing him in it.”